Triggered by a TV Show

I was watching Wentworth last night and there was a scene where one of the characters flashed back to a time where she had reported that her father was sexually abusing her and nobody believed her and her father yelled at ger for lying about him.  The father shot the girl’s horse and said that’s what would happen to her if she continued telling lies about him.  This was reminiscent of something that happened to me except it was a cat that gave her life for me.  As soon as that scene was over, I turned off the TV and fell asleep where I was sitting.  I couldn’t even get up to go to bed.  Or take medicine.  Or have my bedtime snack.  I could barely turn the TV off before I fell asleep.  Then I woke up 3 hours later, wired, scared, panicky.  I tried to be conscious of my breath, but that made me even more anxious.  I tried coloring and couldn’t sit still.  I finally walked/ran on the treadmill for 45 minutes and then played games on my phone until it was time for the kuds to get up.  As soon as they alley for school, I slept on the porch for 2 hours.  Then I had therapy.  MT (my therapist) and I talked about that scene and being hypoaroused and then hypoaroused.  We talked about my brain being wired differently.  There was no big revelation, but it was comforting to be able to explain this to someone who had already heard the story and understands that my brain works differently than most.

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7 thoughts on “Triggered by a TV Show

  1. Glad you could talk through it and that must have brought some relief at least. Sorry about the reminders and triggers coming up and while they will always be there in some form, I hope there will be few until you are strong enough to dismiss them as quickly as they came. Xo

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  2. Something like this, but to a lesser degree, happened to me this morning. I watched a video about a woman who by chance ran into the man who had raped her six years earlier. Her reactions just felt so familiar to me, and the way she described it to another woman in the video resonated so much for me. I am sure that whoever wrote the script absolutely experienced something like this. Afterwards, I felt like the top layer of my skin had been scraped off and all my nerve endings were exposed. My breathing was shallow, and I felt a pressure in my vagina (which to me is an especially weird part of it).
    So I haven’t accomplished much of anything today (thankfully, I am newly unemployed). But I managed to get through it without harming myself. I did a guided meditation that was actually designed for people in prison dealing with panic attacks. I don’t have panic attacks per se, but some of the symptoms are similar. It has me count to 3 while breathing in and to 5 while breathing out (to really empty the lungs). It was somewhat helpful. And then I tried various grounding techniques I’ve been learning. None provides an immediate fix, but put together over some hours, they help.
    And like you, I slept some and played games on my phone some.
    It is just incredible how a memory can set our bodies on fire. Somehow it makes me very sympathetic to my body, which has been strong enough to carry all that pain for me. Now it’s very worn down and needs me to take good care of it in return.
    I am so sorry about everything you went through, that you didn’t have people believing and protecting you. I am sorry about your cat. I am confident, from all I have read over many months, that you are a brave warrior who can and will protect your precious self. xxoo

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    • I know I can and do protect myself and nothing like my childhood/young adulthood will ever happen to me again. But, I think that there are cells in my body that don’t know that yet. It’s got to be that. Maybe it was an emotional flashback, or a body memory. Because I’m not having the kind of flashback where I think I’m there. But, some part of me is feeling it. Ugh. It’s so difficult to explain. It does amaze me the inferno that can be started by a TV show or a YouTube video. I’m really sorry you’ve experienced this too. I hope you’re doing better today. I was extremely pleased to see your name pop up. I was just starting to wonder where you were.

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